Tusmørke — Bydyra
(Karisma KAR132, 2017, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2018-04-10
In the spectrum of Scandinavian progressive rock, Tusmørke skews generally towards the folksy, pastoral side rather than the heavy, dramatic side. And while members of the band are also involved with White Willow, Wobbler, and other groups, Tusmørke has a distinctive identity of its own, at least on Bydyra — I haven’t heard any of their others, so can’t speak to them. That distinctive identity involves creating music explicitly aimed at children. Most of the tunes here feature one or more children singing, sometimes a whole bunch of them, and the adult voices are modified in chipmunkish ways. And if this brings to mind the sound of Gong in the pre-fusion days, you’re definitely thinking in the right direction, like the sillier moments of Camembert Electrique or the Planet Gong Trilogy all strung together and sung in Norwegian. And like classic Gong, the frivolous vocal aspects are backed by some seriously good playing. In Norway, this would be the perfect way for adult prog fans to get their kids into the “right” music. Outside of Norway, it may not appeal to kids due to the language barrier, but adults can enjoy the good music. Some tracks sound like traditional children’s songs done up in a proggy way; others sound like solid proggish folk-rock with the kid-oriented vocals added on top. In either case, it is the kind of thing that might turn off some listeners, but I think anyone who is into Gong could appreciate Bydyra. Check your adult cynicism at the door and just enjoy — a little goofy fun is welcome in a world that can seem so serious.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.